Political Law

Chalmers, Adams, Backer & Kaufman, LLC

Practice Areas | Political

Political Law

Our political law team is known as one of the leading such groups in the nation. We advise political committees, corporations, nonprofit organizations, chambers of commerce, trade associations, elected officials, candidates, political parties, lobbyists, government agencies, vendors to political campaigns, and donors on the federal and state laws that govern involvement in political activities. This includes campaign finance, corporate political activity, election law, government ethics, government investigations, lobbying, pay-to-play rules, and the tax rules governing the political activities of nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Our clients include some of the leading organizations and individuals who are influencing elections, legislation and public policy in the United States.

We provide advice to our clients on the Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act (BCRA), the rules and regulations of the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and state law equivalents; the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which regulates texting; the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and equivalent state open records acts; Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations that impact political advertising; the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) and the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act (HLOGA); Congressional and state legislative ethics rules; and Internal Revenue Code provisions and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations governing the political activities of nonprofit organizations. We represent clients before the FEC and state enforcement agencies, in federal and state courts and administrative agencies, and before the Department of Justice (DOJ) and IRS.

Our political law team has extensive experience advising and defending clients on matters involving compliance with federal and state campaign finance laws. This includes advising on contribution limits, expenditure rules, the laws governing independent expenditures and coordination, entity registration and disclosure report requirements, etc. Our lawyers have submitted multiple FEC advisory opinion requests and FEC complaints on behalf of clients, have filed lawsuits against the FEC, and regularly represent political law clients before the FEC in connection with complaints, audits and other enforcement proceedings. Through our affiliation with a nationally-recognized campaign finance disclosure report preparation business, we are able to offer a one-stop shop to our political committee client for all their compliance needs.

We offer political law compliance services to business and corporations that are involved in advocacy, campaign finance, election and/or lobbying activities. We offer training programs for corporate compliance and corporate PAC officers on these laws. We are happy to assist with the formation of corporate PACs, and advise on legal compliance issues in their operation. Our lawyers are willing and able to conduct compliance audits of corporate political activity, and we represent clients before federal and state government agencies in the event that any complaints are filed or any audits are initiated.

Our election law practice covers the gamut, from candidate qualification and qualification challenges, election contests and challenges, recount rules, recall elections, litigation challenging the constitutionality of election laws, ballot access and challenges, and redistricting. Our attorneys currently serve as lead counsel for parties in redistricting cases pending before federal courts. We advise on federal and state election and voting laws; voter registration and get out the vote (GOTV) efforts; and ballot measures and initiatives.

The political law team at Chalmers, Adams, Backer & Kaufman, LLC advises clients, including corporations, tax-exempt organizations, political committees, and elected officials on the rules governing government ethics. That includes federal and state legislative and executive branch ethics rules, gift rules, conflict of interest provisions, and disclosure reporting.  We assist government officials in preparing personal financial disclosure reports required by federal and state ethics laws. Government ethics is one area where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. We can help make sure you stay compliant with government ethics rules, and represent and defend you if a problem arises.

Our lawyers are well versed in representing and defending clients in response to subpoenas or inquiries from federal or state government entities, including the DOJ, the FEC, the IRS, state attorneys general, and executive or legislative branch ethics authorities.

Our political law team also advises public officials, lobbyists, and businesses that hire government relations experts and lobbyists on a wide variety of topics to ensure that activities meet all regulatory rules and are free of real or perceived conflicts. Our areas of expertise include compliance with federal and state lobbying and ethics and gift laws; procurement and vendor lobbying for government contracts; pay-to-play restrictions on political contributions by lobbyists and others; the federal Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 (HLOGA); and the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act and state equivalents. We also advise clients on the rules governing lobbyist registration and disclosure reports.

Our lawyers are nationally known for their expertise in advising nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations on the federal tax rules and federal and state laws governing their advocacy, lobbying and political activities. We regularly advise 501(c)(3) public charities, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, 501(c)(6) trade associations and chambers of commerce, and Section 527 political committees on the rules governing their activities in the political and public policy arenas. We advise how to stay on the right side of the lines governing political campaign intervention, and work with them to comply with the rules on such diverse activities as voter education, voter registration, get-out-the-vote (GOTV), lobbying and issue advocacy. We also help our clients comply with applicable rules such as state charitable solicitation registrations.